Fatherhood, for me, seemed like a distant dream a few years back. When things were not going our way, I almost suggested that we stopped seeing our fertility doctor because it was becoming frustrating. Looking back, it was a good decision that we carried on because we now have Miguel with us.
It has been almost a year since Khris and I became parents and there is never a day that we are not thankful for all the blessings. The past months have been a merry mix of sleepless nights, health scares, and learning nursery rhymes. What’s even better is that there are so many new things that Khris and I have learned along.
Furthermore, I would also like to believe that when you have a baby, you also gain superpowers. Where else will you get the energy to withstand long periods of having no sleep or food? Just kidding. Of course, it’s just your stress hormones at work. Beyond physical stress, parenting is an adventure that Khris and I enjoy and that we would not trade for anything else in this world.
Now that we are about to celebrate Miguel’s first birthday in less than three months, I would like to share the five important things I learned from fatherhood:
1. Having a baby will change your life completely
You think that you will be able to get your old life back when your baby grows? Think again because that will never happen. For any responsible parent, the arrival of a baby in your life will signal a change in routine and priorities. An infant demands your full and unwavering attention. Babies have to be fed immediately when they are hungry or cleaned when their diaper is wet.
You can indulge in the activities that you used to do in the past but be ready to drop everything when your baby demands your attention. Therefore, small things like watching movies on a whim or taking a nap whenever you felt like it would seem like a luxury; enjoyed only on rare instances.
Notwithstanding, parenting is a noble undertaking that we should wholeheartedly embrace. Learn to take pride in your little achievements. When Miguel was born, I had to quickly learn a lot of basic things in infant care. I am an only child so I did not know how to carry a baby or to change diapers, most especially. I learned about those a day after Miguel was born. I asked the nurse to teach me how to pick him up from the hospital crib, how to change diapers, and how to clean baby poop. I watched carefully how the nurse would bathe Miguel and had to quickly learn how to hold him with one hand and clean him with the other.
2. Fatherhood is a lifelong commitment
Like marriage, fatherhood is a lifetime dedication. As parents, you and your wife are partners who guide, care for, and support your children financially when they are growing up. However, you will soon realize that parenting does not really end when your children have grown up. A lot of times, they, as adults, will still run to you for advice, especially when they become parents themselves.
3. Fatherhood is all about trusting your instincts
When you are a new parent, much of the things you learn along the way are not from books or from the advice given to you by your friends and loved ones. Majority of the knowledge that you will learn are from actual experience, guided mostly by your instincts. Listen to your gut feel because, more often than not, they are correct.
4. Fatherhood will bring back the child in you
When you become a father, you gain a new sense of maturity. You become more responsible, you begin thinking beyond yourself, and you occupy yourself with thoughts about your child’s future, just to name a few.
Let’s not forget, however, that with a growing baby, you get introduced once again to playtime, children’s books, and nursery rhymes. Fatherhood gives you the chance to relive and relish your childhood. I did not expect to be singing nursery rhymes again but I do enjoy every moment of it because it is a bonding opportunity with Miguel.
5. Fatherhood will develop your extra sensory perception
No, it’s not really being able to see ghosts and spirits. Your senses become heightened when you become a parent. During several instances, we would be jolted in the middle of the night to find Miguel almost at the edge of the bed. I could not imagine what could have happened had we not been awakened on time.
Fatherhood entails a lot of hard work but that does not mean it is not fun. Aside from occasionally watching movies, I devote most of my weekends and free time on week nights taking care of Miguel. That is, of course, with the help of Khris.
We make sure to shower Miguel with a lot of attention whenever we can because we are at work five times a week. When your child is young, you are his world. As such, your presence is an invaluable treasure that he cherishes beyond anything in this world.
Also read: Our journey to parenthood
*Khris and I are new parents. As such, we would love to get tips and lessons from our fellow parents. I hope you would share them in the comment section below. Thank you!